Monday, 15 August 2022 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate together the great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. The Assumption of Mary refers to the moment when she was taken up body and soul into Heaven, as she came to the end of her existence here in this world, and went to be reunited with her beloved Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Church has always held the belief and tradition that Mary, by God’s grace, did not suffer the lasting effect of death, and while she did die, but her Son took her up very soon after into His Presence in Heaven.

According to Apostolic tradition, as Mary loved her Son so much, after having lived several more years past the time of her Son’s Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, the great love that Mary had for her Son led her to experience death, sharing the same death that her Son experienced for our sake. And when the time came for her to say goodbye to this world, the Apostles were gathered and asked for Mary’s last blessing, and she entered a sleep of death, and she was placed in the tomb. One tradition stated that because St. Thomas, one of the Apostles could not be there to see Mary one last time, he demanded to see the Mother of God one last time.

When the Apostles and the other assembled disciples opened her tomb, they were all surprised to find that not only that there was no trace of decomposition, but the body of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God herself had disappeared, replaced by a bed of roses. It was evident to all then that because her Son had been triumphant over sin and death, He would not have let her to experience the degradation of death, and took her up into Heaven, body and soul. And that is the story of how the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and its equivalent in the Eastern Churches, the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin came to be.

The belief in the Assumption comes logically as Mary, the Mother of God is the Mother of the Lord and Saviour of the world, Who had triumphed over sin and death, and as our second reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians had highlighted to us, Christ, Mary’s Son, has conquered and triumphed over death. Sin and death had both been conquered and crushed by the Lord, through His glorious Resurrection. How can it be that Christ saved the world but did not save His own Mother? Surely because of His great love for her, He would have led her away from death and would not allow her to suffer from it? That He Who raised Lazarus and the daughter of the synagogue official could definitely have raised His own Mother to a new life with Him too?

And not only that, but as Mary herself has borne the Lord and Saviour of the world, as highlighted in St. John’s heavenly vision of the end times in the Book of Revelations, our first reading today, and from the account of St. Luke’s Gospel on the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, Mary as the one who bore the Lord Himself inside her womb was hallowed and full of grace, free from sin throughout her life, right from the moment of her conception. This is the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which stated that Mary, by the singular grace of God, had been preserved from the taint of original sin, and full of God’s grace, she remained immaculate and pure throughout her life.

That is essential because the Lord’s Presence could have not tolerated the taint of sin, and as He were to spend the time in the womb of Mary, hence, He could not have been borne through a body tainted by sin. And because Mary was without original sin, and also remained pure and full of grace, free from any sin throughout her life, she did not deserve death at all, because death is the natural consequence of sin. Since Mary did not sin, she could not have been made subject to the punishment due to sin, which is death. That is why the Church believes that Mary was taken up body and soul into Heaven, as was right and just for her, and also based on the testimony of the Apostles who witnessed it all.

Then, the Assumption should also not be confused with the Ascension, as the Assumption refers to the moment when Mary was taken up into Heaven by the will of God, by the power of her Son, taking her up body and soul into Heaven to be by His side, while the Ascension refers to the moment when the Lord Himself, the Son of God, by His own power and will, ascended into Heaven to return to His Throne and rightful place. There now the Lord reigns over us, with His mother Mary by His side, and her always interceding and praying for our sake. She has always watched over us all these while, and has always shown concern over us, falling ever so frequently again and again into sin.

Through the Assumption, first of all, we have the assurance that Mary is there in Heaven, by the side of the Lord, her own beloved Son, as our greatest ally and help in the battle against the forces of evil surrounding us and desiring our destruction. Through her constant intercession, Mary helped us all to get closer to God and helped to open the gates of God’s ever generous mercy towards us. She herself has also appeared in many well-known occasions, at Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima and elsewhere, calling on all the faithful children of God to turn back towards the Lord and repent from our sins.

Then, Mary’s own faith in the Lord, her commitment and total surrender to God, her willingness to follow the Lord and to obey His will completely in her life, carrying out her calling from the beginning to the end as the Mother of God, caring for her Son and loving Him, following Him even to the foot of the Cross, all these dedication should inspire each one of us in our own faith in God. Through Mary’s examples, we should be inspired to lead an ever worthy life that is full of faith and dedication to Him. We should do our very best to make sure that our every actions, words and deeds, every moments of our lives be worthy of God.

Mary’s Assumption into Heaven also gave us all a glimpse of our own fate in the end, if we choose to remain faithful to God, just as her own Son’s Transfiguration a few days ago had shown us as well. In the end of time, after the Final Judgement, all of us will rise up body and soul to be reunited with God, and to enjoy forever an eternity of true bliss and happiness. However, we have to be faithful to God and to be judged worthy of Him, or else we will end up in the eternity of suffering instead in the eternal damnation. The Lord has given us many opportunities and chances, and He has reached out to us generously with love, so that we may find our way to Him, and His blessed Mother Mary has shown us the most direct and surest path to Him.

May all of us draw ever closer to God, in each and every moments and opportunities available to us. May He empower each one of us to live ever more faithfully and with greater conviction and commitment from now on, following the examples of Mary, the Blessed Mother of God, who we remember of today in her glorious Assumption into Heaven. Holy Mary, Mother of God, gloriously assumed and taken up to Heaven, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, 15 August 2022 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 39-56

Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with Holy Spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour! He has looked upon His servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed.”

“The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is His Name! From age to age His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”

“He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned home.

Monday, 15 August 2022 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Corinthians 15 : 20-26

But no, Christ has been raised from the dead, and He comes before all those who have fallen asleep. A human being brought death; a Human Being also brings resurrection of the dead. For, as in Adam all die, so, in Christ, all will be made alive. However, each one in his own time : first Christ, then Christ’s people, when He comes.

Then, the end will come, when Christ delivers the kingdom to God the Father, after having destroyed every rule, authority and power. For He must reign and put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. As Scripture says : God has subjected everything under His feet.

When we say that everything is put under His feet, we exclude, of course, the Father, Who subjects everything to Him. As Scripture says : God has subjected everything under His feet. When we say that everything is put under His feet, we exclude, of course, the Father, Who subjects everything to Him.

Monday, 15 August 2022 : Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 44 : 10bc, 11, 12ab, 16

At your right hand, in gold of Ophir, stands the queen.

Listen, o daughter, pay attention; forget your father’s house and your nation.

And your beauty will charm the King, for He is your Lord.

Amid cheers and general rejoicing, they enter the palace of the King.

(Usus Antiquior) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Monday, 15 August 2022 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Genesis 3 : 15

Inimicitas ponam inter te et mulierem, et semen tuum et semen illius.

English translation

I will put enmities between you and the Woman, and between your seed and her Seed.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Ascendat ad Te, Domine, nostrae devotionis oblatio, et, beatissima Virgine Maria in caelum assumpta intercedente, corda nostra, caritatis igne succensa, ad Te jugiter adspirent. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May the offering of our devotion ascend to you, o Lord, and through the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, who was taken up into heaven, may our hearts be inflamed with the fire of love, and continually long for You. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Et Te in Assumptionis Beatae Mariae semper Virginis collaudare, benedicere et praedicare. Quae et Unigenitum Tuum Sancti Spiritus obumbratione concepit : et, virginitatis gloria permanente, lumen aeternum mundo effudit, Jesum Christum, Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Caeli caelorumque Virtutes ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes :

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, o holy Lord, Father Almighty, everlasting God, and on the Assumption of the Blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, should praise and bless and proclaim You. For she conceived Your only begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, and losing not the glory of her virginity, gave to the world the everlasting light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Your majesty, the Dominions worship it, and the Powers are in awe. The heaven and the heavenly hosts, and the blessed Seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray to You joining our voices as well, while we say with lowly praise :

Communion

Luke 1 : 48-49

Beatam me dicent omnes generationes, quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est.

English translation

All generations shall call me blessed, because He who is mighty had done great things to me.

Post-Communion Prayer

Sumptis, Domine, salutaribus sacramentis : da, quaesumus; ut, meritis et intercessione Beatae Virginis Mariae in caelum assumptae, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Now that we have received, o Lord, the Sacrament of salvation, grant, we beseech You, that through the merits and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was taken up into heaven, we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Monday, 15 August 2022 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 1 : 41-50

In illo tempore : Repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit : Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. Et unde hoc mihi ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me? Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutionis tuae in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo. Et beata, quae credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quae dicta sunt tibi a Domino.

Et ait Maria : Magnificat anima mea Dominum; et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo; quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae, ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes. Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum Nomen Ejus, et misericordia Ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.

English translation

At that time, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed are you who have believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to you by the Lord.”

And Mary said, “My soul had magnified the Lord, and my spirit had rejoiced in God my Saviour, because He had regarded the humility of His handmaid, for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He who is mighty had done great things to me, and holy is His Name, and His mercy is from generation unto generations, to those who fear Him.”

(Usus Antiquior) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Monday, 15 August 2022 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 44 : 11-12, 14 and Tradition of the Faith

Audi, filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuam, et concupiscit Rex decorum tuum.

Response : Omnis gloria ejus filiae Regis ab intus, in fimbriis aureis circumamicta varietatibus.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Assumpta est Maria in caelum : gaudet exercitus Angelorum. Alleluja.

English translation

Hearken, o daughter, and see. Incline your ear, and the King shall greatly desire your beauty.

Response : The daughter of the King comes in, all beautiful. Her robes are of golden cloth.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Mary has been taken up into heaven, the choirs of angels rejoice. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Monday, 15 August 2022 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio libri Judith – Lesson from the Book of Judith

Judith 13 : 22-25 and Judith 15 : 10

Benedixit te Dominus in virtute Sua, quia per te ad nihilum redegit inimicos nostros. Benedicta es tu, filia, a Domino Deo excelso, prae omnibus mulieribus super terram. Benedictus Dominus, qui creavit caelum et terram, qui te direxit in vulnera capitis principis inimicorum nostrorum; quia hodie nomen tuum ita magnificavit, ut non recedat laus tua de ore hominum, qui memores fuerint virtutis Domini in aeternum, pro quibus non pepercisti animae tuae propter angustias et tribulationem generis tui, sed subvenisti ruinae ante conspectum Dei nostri.

Tu gloria Jerusalem, tu laetitia Israel, tu honorificentia populi nostri.

English translation

The Lord had blessed you with His power, because by you He had brought our enemies to nought. Blessed are you, o daughter, by the Lord the Most High God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord, who made heaven and earth, who had directed you to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies, because He had so magnified your name this day, that your praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord, forever. For that you have not spared your life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of your people, but have prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.

You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you are the honour of our people.

(Usus Antiquior) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Double I Classis) – Monday, 15 August 2022 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Apocalypse 12 : 1 and Psalm 97 : 1

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo : mulier amicta sole, et luna sub pedibus ejus, et in capite ejus corona stellarum duodecim.

Cantate Domino canticum novum : quia mirabilia fecit.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

A great sign appeared in heaven : A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Sing all of you to the Lord a new canticle, because He had done wonderful things.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Immaculatam Virginem Mariam, Filii Tui genetricem, corpore et anima ad caelestem gloriam assumpsisti : concede, quaesumus; ut, ad superna semper intenti, ipsius gloriae mereamur esse consortes. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Almighty, everlasting God, You Who have taken up the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of Your Son, with body and soul into heavenly glory, grant we beseech You, that we may always, intent on higher things, deserve to be partakers of her glory. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.